Crazy Machines Elements may as well have been named The Honda Commercial: The Game, but we doubt developer Fakt Software could get the license. Citing the Honda advertisement really is the easiest way to introduce this mechanical puzzler though, as you're tasked to add the finishing touches to partially completed contraptions in order to trigger an exciting chain of events. If you've ever set-up complex dominoes lines as a child, you'll probably love Crazy Machines Elements.
The game really is born out of the Rube Goldberg philosophy. You'll drop marbles onto boxing gloves, which punch toy cars into Bunsen burners, that light kettles, causing steam to propel more marbles into shopping trolleys, which tip candles onto fuses, which conclude in flashy firework displays.
Often you'll find partially completed contraptions waiting for you to introduce the final pieces of the puzzle. Each machine is memorable in that wide-eyed 'oooh' kinda way, even if the solutions are a touch too easy at times.
Crazy Machines has existed on the PC for a while, but Elements marks the first time the series has appeared on consoles. Its major twist is that the game also includes weather inspired stages, where you'll need to take advantage of the wind, rain and cold to manipulate your machines into action. The physics often feel a touch contrived, but the game has a good enough grounding in reality to make solutions feel reasonably natural.
There's a lot to the game too, with over 100 stages on offer to tickle your creative enterprise. Each level includes gold tokens, which add a second difficulty tier to the puzzles. You might be able to get the contraption to work as intended, but can you do so while collecting all of the tokens scattered around the stage too?
In addition to the game's pre-designed levels, Crazy Machines Elements also features a rich editor mode. This allows you to concoct your very own contraptions, using the same tools as those used to create the single-player campaign. Like LittleBigPlanet, there's a definite learning curve to this environment, but it's a fun extension to the main campaign.
It's worth noting that Crazy Machines Elements also supports PlayStation Move compatibility. Here the controller is a natural fit, replacing DualShock cursor controls with the precision of the Move's pointer practicalities. Unfortunately, the controls can feel a bit fiddly with the Move as the cursor is locked to Crazy Machine's invisible grid — a feature which presumably prevents the puzzles from breaking. It means you have to keep your hand deadly still in order to place objects in their intended position, or they will easily jump out of position. It's a minor annoyance, but one that's present all the same. Otherwise the PlayStation Move maps naturally to Crazy Machines, allowing you to rotate objects by naturally twisting the controller, and start and stop the machine with the face buttons.
Crazy Machines Elements does struggle with several technical issues. Loading times are a little excessive, and the visuals can look garish and flickery. But those problems aside, it's a relaxing little puzzler. It wants to be played lazily. There's no urgency and no lingering game-over screen. It's just you and the puzzles. Crazy Machines Elements is the kind of game you can play with the PlayStation Move in one hand, and a cup of tea in another. It's something you can unwind to. And in that sense, it comes with our recommendation.